Thanks for this contribution from Montego Bay YC Commodore Spencer May: This year’s regatta was intense; both the competition and wind could only be described as fierce….in other words ‘blowing dogs off chains’ sailing conditions! We saw 20+ knots of breeze consistently with gusts up to 30 throughout the two days of racing (Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3), with a few early retirements and some incredible boat handling. Safety being the number one priority, we decided to move forward with racing with caution, and after much deliberation, as the scores will reflect, crews and skippers decided for themselves what was safe. With 11 boats registered, including two shipped from the Cayman Islands with the generous sponsorship of SEABOARD MARINE, it was a great couple of days of racing. Without SEABOARD MARINE getting the boats from the Cayman Islands Sailing Club to the port in Montego Bay, the final results would have looked very different. The Jamaican Customs was instrumental in the clearance of the two Caymanian vessels, YAHOO #9 and ADJUSTED #13, skippered by Bruce Johnson and Mike Farrington, respectively. We look forward to their support in future years for the continued camaraderie and growth of the sport on both islands. The Montego Bay Yacht Club, which has hosted this event since 1989, had six J/22s competing this year, including AWESOME! #0 skippered by Commodore and Jamin Chair Spencer May, NINA #1 skippered by Stephen Dear, ZIPPER #2 skippered by Denise Taylor, AYAHSO #4 skippered by the father/daughter combo of Michael and Emily Morse, OPEN WATER #7 skippered by Andrew King, and DEFENDER #10 skippered by Past Commodore and Chair of the Pineapple Cup Race Nigel Knowles. Kingston’s Royal Jamaica Yacht Club had two boats competing: TSUNAMI #3 skipped by Malcolm Hernould and PJ Gibson, and GERONIMO #11 skippered by Steven “Cookie” Cooke. Our defending champions from the Galveston Bay Cruising Association, Walter Caldwell, Karen Glass, Allie Cribbs and Brett Allred, had the use of RENEGADE #6 through the generosity of Past Commodore and Past Jamin’ Chair Richard Hamilton. Before getting into the nitty gritty race results, we MUST thank the MBYC team who makes this event possible every year: Dockmaster and Committee Boat Helm Dawson Morrison, 1st Mate Anthony Carty who assisted with the start and finish line, the dutiful Heather Vernon our MBYC manager, and Administrative Assistant, Zeirain Shaw. Our start committee was made-up of Maxine Garwan, Debbie Louw, Lyn Langford and Jackie Hamilton. We also have to praise Evelyn Harrington as her “joke prizes” are a highlight of each year’s Jamin prize-giving, like giving AWESOME some spackle and a brush after a glancing blow on the committee boat’s beam before the start of race 5, or the carabiners for a crew member of NINA who ended up climbing one of the channel markers after going overboard! As we said, the wind made for some pretty wild sailing conditions. The scores tell quite the story, and beyond that, there are anecdotal stories with a few broken boat parts and MOBs. Needless to say, all boats and sailors were still buoyant at the end of the weekend. Day One: After the first day of racing, there were clearly two boats in the lead: ADJUSTED #13 (5 points) and YAHOO #9 (7 points), and a deadlock tie for third with RENEGADE #6 and AYAHSO #4 both at 15 points. TSUNAMI was not far behind with 19 points. Five of the 11 boats had early retirements or were not able to get to the start line ( inexperienced crew and breakages were cited as the cause). The windward mark of the course was nestled up against Montego Bay’s Harmony Beach Park, which acted as a wind shadow and allowed for some great tactical maneuvering and quick spinnaker sets. Day two: The second day was equally exciting, and while there were a few early retirements, the most dramatic was a snapped spinnaker pole. Everyone made it safely off the course. Joe Paolone AKA “Rooster” of ADJUSTED #13 received special appreciation and a sportsmanship trophy as he boarded another boat to assist with retrieving a MOB. For the rest of the crews, keeping the boat flat was the goal for the day. Due to the strong winds and wave action, paired with some rain in the nights, the waters of Mo’Bay were not as crystal clear as they usually are, but it still beats swimming in most other places this time of year. On Friday evening, we had a “Link-Up & Drink-Up” on the dock, and we tested the buoyancy of one J/22 by having 22 sailors on deck! 2022 was one for the record books. Saturday served as our annual “Jamin’ Party” paired with this year’s prize-giving, “Jerk Pork and Chicken- Rice & Peas Festival” and steamed veggies from a local favorite “Scotchie’s” served as sustenance while the ever-refreshing combination of fresh coconut water and Jamaican rum along with ice-cold Red Stripes as adult beverages. Our videographer played some clips while we gathered and recounted the weekend.
Winners- Mike Farrington and his Cayman Islands ADJUSTED crew
2nd place- Bruce Johnson and his YAHOO crew from Cayman Islands
3rd place- Mike Morse and his AYAHSO team from Montego Bay YC
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